Poll: Do you bias your tube-amp yourself?
Poll Options
View poll results: Do you bias your tube-amp yourself?
Yes
20 36%
No, I get pro's to do it
16 29%
No, should I be doing that?
5 9%
I don't use a tube-amp
15 27%
Voters: 56.
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#2
don't need to. I have a Mesa, so it's a fixed bias.

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#5
i own a mesa too. fixed bias.
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#6
why exactly did you make the option "I don't use a tube amp" when the title of the thread is "Tube Owners! Do you bias your own amp?"
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#7
Quote by ameer
Mesas FTW. No biasing needed.

It has to be biassed well. I play a 6505, also fixed bias, but i had it biassed again, because the original bias was done poorly. So. for that i let pro's work on it
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#8
Quote by ameer
Mesas FTW. No biasing needed.




Yeah, sub-par tone beats the hell out of having to bias.
#10
I have no ideas, the Lonestars are awesome!

I have a cathode biased amps, so I don't need to, however I did bias the Laney.
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#11
Quote by Horlicks
^ What's wrong with mesa's?



Not his cup of tea I'm guessing.

I haven't changed tubes in the Traynor YCV50 Blue custom yet, but it's fixed bias, so I don't need to bias it.
#12
There's a great tech with a fast turn around time about 20 miles from my house. He gets all of my business.
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#13
Quote by Horlicks
^ What's wrong with mesa's?


I don't think there's anything wrong with Mesas (actually I do, but that's not the point right now), but I do think there's something wrong with (nonadjustable) fixed bias. The bias will always be off, unless you find exactly the right tubes. There's a reason why most fixed bias amps eventually get a bias pot installed.
#15
Quote by mr_hankey
I don't think there's anything wrong with Mesas (actually I do, but that's not the point right now), but I do think there's something wrong with (nonadjustable) fixed bias. The bias will always be off, unless you find exactly the right tubes. There's a reason why most fixed bias amps eventually get a bias pot installed.


However, there's a difference with cathode biased amps, which you can't bias, but that's another story.

But I defiently see your point there!
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#16
The first time, no, i let a pro handle it just to make sure i knew exactly what to do. But now, yes.
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#17
i let a pro do it, but i think im going to try to do it myself the next time i change tubes. (probably soon)
#19
i do my own, i hate getting ripped of for stuff i can do myself, i was told it would cost about £50-£60 to check the bias on my jubilee, and i wouldnt get it back for over a week
#20
Quote by scottish nutter
i do my own, i hate getting ripped of for stuff i can do myself, i was told it would cost about £50-£60 to check the bias on my jubilee, and i wouldnt get it back for over a week



I think that was just a chance for you to brag about owning a Jubilee. lol


My Palomino is fixed, so I don't have to worry about it. I still have yet to change the power tubes anyway.
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#21
Guys...

Fixed bias = adjustable 99% of the time.

When you can't adjust, it's cathode.


... it's slightly misleading hehe...
#23
Quote by mr_hankey


Yeah, sub-par tone beats the hell out of having to bias.

sub-par?

i kid, i do wonder how much better they would sound if weren't biased so cold though. hell, why can't they just make it adjustable and an external pot would be nice too.
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Last edited by UnsignedRecords at May 20, 2008,
#24
My CBB requires biasing, upon the installation of new power tubes.
The first time, I had a pro do it, since I just wanted the Sovteks out of there ASAP.
I'll probably bias in the future once I get the equipment and know-how.
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#25
It's UG, everyone's going to say yes.
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#26
Quote by darkarbiter7
the equipment and know-how.


Sounds like someone is quoting me.
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Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

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I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#27
I haven't had it done yet but if I had to in the short term I would have it done profesionally. Eventually I want to learn to do it myself.
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#28
^Watch the pro do it if you can, and you'll learn how. It's really quite easy.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

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Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

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I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#29
Quote by Pott
Guys...

Fixed bias = adjustable 99% of the time.

When you can't adjust, it's cathode.


... it's slightly misleading hehe...


Not really. Bias pots are surprisingly uncommon.
Cathode biasing is adjustable too, in the same way you'd bias a fixed bias amp without a pot.
#30
Quote by mr_hankey


Yeah, sub-par tone beats the hell out of having to bias.


Nobody mentioned sub-par tone. You didn't prove sub-par tone. Therefore you have no point. I get great tone out of my Mark IV, and I'm sure other people do as well. Now, if you'd like to have a civilized discussion as to why a fixed bias guarantees or corolates with bad tone, then that would be rather interesting.
#31
^He made his point fairly clear. If you're not adjusting bias with a tube change, then your bias is always off unless you get the perfect tube for your amp. If your bias is far enough off, it hurts your tone.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#32
^Thanks, Kyle.

Quote by ameer
Nobody mentioned sub-par tone. You didn't prove sub-par tone. Therefore you have no point. I get great tone out of my Mark IV, and I'm sure other people do as well. Now, if you'd like to have a civilized discussion as to why a fixed bias guarantees or corolates with bad tone, then that would be rather interesting.


It's a pretty well known fact that the bias has to be optimized for any particular set of tubes, to optimize the tone and/or reliability. If the bias cannot be adjusted, you'll have to find a set of tubes which does match whatever the amp was set to at the factory, or the sound and possibly reliability will be sub-par. This doesn't have anything to do with Mesa, other than that they (all?) aren't fitted with bias pots. Do you see my point now?
#33
I bais my Marshall DSL100 myself. As I always say, I do all my own work and I think everyone should. I don't trust anyone with my stuff. I want to make sure everything is right, the only way to do that is learn how and do it yourself.

I prefer having to Bias over a amp with a fixed Bias. Thats another way to adjust your tone. 10mv makes a big difference in sound. I change mine every once in a while, cause I don't know which mv I like the best. But I like being able to change it to make my tubes break up sooner.
#34
Quote by mr_hankey
^Thanks, Kyle.


It's a pretty well known fact that the bias has to be optimized for any particular set of tubes, to optimize the tone and/or reliability. If the bias cannot be adjusted, you'll have to find a set of tubes which does match whatever the amp was set to at the factory, or the sound and possibly reliability will be sub-par. This doesn't have anything to do with Mesa, other than that they (all?) aren't fitted with bias pots. Do you see my point now?


Perfectly. In that case, what exactly is the point of giving anything a fixed bias?
#35
i agree. My first tube amp had some problems with it, and I paid a tech to look at the amp and check the pots and biasing, cost me like 100 bucks... rediculous... since i've been researching doing it on my own. Luckily the b-52 isn't hard to bias, just gotta find the trim pot.

But my next upgrade might be new tubes, meh or a new speaker
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#36
Quote by ameer
Perfectly. In that case, what exactly is the point of giving anything a fixed bias?

the founder of mesa/boogie wrote an article on it.

Quote by randall smith
Here's a question we often hear:
"Why doesn't Mesa put bias adjustments in their amplifiers?"
Well, there's a short answer and a long answer.

... the short answer is this: Since a bias supply needs to put out the right voltage and never vary, I wanted to build amplifiers that were individually hard wired to the correct values and NEVER needed adjustment. And for 25 years, that's how Mesa/Boogies have been built.


the longer more technical explanation is after that. i still don't really get it though
http://www.mesaboogie.com/US/Smith/biasadjust.html
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#37
Same here. Just finished doing a complete re-tube of my DSL50 and did the BIAS myself. Must admit that it is pretty simple since you just put a multimeter on the external leads and adjust from there. Most of the time was cleaning the tube sockets..easy stuff.

Quote by ninja23
I bais my Marshall DSL100 myself. As I always say, I do all my own work and I think everyone should. I don't trust anyone with my stuff. I want to make sure everything is right, the only way to do that is learn how and do it yourself.

I prefer having to Bias over a amp with a fixed Bias. Thats another way to adjust your tone. 10mv makes a big difference in sound. I change mine every once in a while, cause I don't know which mv I like the best. But I like being able to change it to make my tubes break up sooner.
#38
Quote by mr_hankey
Not really. Bias pots are surprisingly uncommon.
Cathode biasing is adjustable too, in the same way you'd bias a fixed bias amp without a pot.


True, but I don't want to be responsible for people wanting to adjust the bias of an amp without a bias pot...

You could always replace the cathode resistor but for this you'd need to know the actual specs of the particular set of valves you're putting in I believe, which makes the whole operation a little cumbersome.

I've never heard of a fixed bias amp without bias pot though, that's new to me. Which don't have it? Not contesting it, just curious.
#39
Quote by ameer
Perfectly. In that case, what exactly is the point of giving anything a fixed bias?


Back in the day, tubes were much more consistent: one bias setting would work for all tubes (maybe not perfectly, but close enough). New tubes vary a lot, which means adjustments will be necessary at some point. Choosing to not install a bias pot is a kind of safety measure; if there's nothing to adjust, the average joe won't open the amp. If he does, he might hurt himself, or set the bias badly, which might lead to more (repair) work for Mesa. Basically, fixed bias is safer and maybe a few cents cheaper.
#40
the terms are just confusing, there is "fixed non adjustable" bias, "fixed adjustable" bias, and cathode biased.

Mesa uses a fixed non adjustable bias, but you can either buy tubes that are tested by Mesa to operate correctly in their fixed bias range, or buy tubes from a vendor that knows Mesa's fixed bias, and can test tubes that will operate correctly with it.

my amps all have bias pots. $40 for a bias probe that reads plate voltage or bias current, and $10 for a multimeter take care of my needs. No poking around in a live circuit that way, and very easy to calculate.
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Last edited by Erock503 at May 20, 2008,
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